This week, the organization KnowtheChain released its benchmark findings around how tech companies are mitigating the issue around child labor in their supply chains.
KnowTheChain was founded by Humanity United, a US-based foundation, and other organizations in 2013. It is based out of California and has been very active in the benchmarking space for sustainable supply chain practices.
While the benchmark found that the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector is showing some commitment and action, the overall scores make it clear there is still far more to be done. Of the 20 global ICT companies evaluated in seven categories, the average score was 39 out of a possible 100 points.
According to reports from ICT, Forced labor in the private economy generates $150 billion in illegal profits every year. From hazardous conditions in cobalt mines to factory workers trapped in debt, major ICT companies have faced reputational risks through their supply chains.
HP, Apple, Intel Corp, Cisco Systems Inc and Microsoft scored highest on the list of 20 publicly traded ICT companies. At the bottom were Keyence, BOE Technology and Canon.
Apple’s Suppliers employ more than 1.6 million people over in 20 countries. The magnitude of managing this supply chain effectively and with full compliance can be a daunting task.
In a statement, Apple said it was committed to treating everyone in its supply chain with dignity and respect.
This follows Apple’s supplier responsibility report from earlier this year which provided commendable transparency around its procurement practices across the globe.